Who is Your Coaching Client?

As a coach, planning and marketing your coaching business often begins with considering who your ideal client is so that you plan appropriately.  Defining your ideal client is the foundation for exploring how to reach prospective clients.  This in turn enhances your marketing efforts because you have the opportunity to target prospective clients specifically.  Knowing your ideal client also helps define your coaching niche.  From a client’s perspective, learning about your niche helps in deciding whether you are the right coach.

When defining the ideal client, the question arises as to whether you must be an expert.  When a client hires a coach, one of the questions that is often asked is whether you have experience in a similar area.

The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as, “partnering with clients in a thought provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”   Does this require you as the coach to have expertise in a specific area or even multiple specialized areas?

There are different schools of thought.  Some say it is essential that the coach be a subject matter expert to understand the client and their circumstances.  Others say the coach is a process expert and not knowing the subject matter enhances the coaching because there are no pre-conceived ideas of how to handle different situations.  The balance is some knowledge and the ability to get up to speed with a client quickly.

What do you think?

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